Te Mauri O Te Whenua - A Search For Paptuanuku
In association with the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic, Martin Baber presents his Diploma in Ceramics Graduation Exhibition.
"A personal journey that I began this year to consider the notion of faith, and in particular, how this impacts upon my ability to see the world in both physical and spiritual terms. The centrepiece of this exhibition, Te Ao Mārama, a whakapapa in clay, acknowledges the both the physical and spiritual dimensions.
I am inspired by the paintings of the late Colin McCahon, a fellow resident of Titirangi for a time, an artist who said of religion that is was 'an attitude', a man who shared a deep spiritual connection with the land. My work It's a question of faith, responds to McCahon's painting Otago Peninsula (1946-49) by scraping away the surface layers to reveal the primal ground, and extricating sections of this landscape to see what lies beyond the immediate.
In respect to the interaction between the physical and spiritual dimensions, it is to Maori artist John Bevan Ford that I turn to give voice to what it is that my journey this year has been about...
The many forms of the land carry messages that go beyond the land. The cloak is made out of the land, the artist takes the strands and weaves them. The cloak is used to warm us in a physical sense, but the patterns and the fineness of the cloak proclaim the sacredness of the wearer. You place the cloak over the land; you are talking about the mana of the people, the mana of the land...
Kaitiaki stand as both physical and spiritual custodians, acknowledging the potential that exists to learn from our past and act towards a sustainable future."